Pages 398-399, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




FRANKLIN ROOT.—The late Franklin Root, ex-County Superintendent of Public Instruction of Allen county, was one of the noble characters and honored citizens of his county. Few men possessed, in as high degree, the confidence and esteem of his townsmen and few men more sincerely merited that confidence so extended and so marked.

While in Allen county Mr. Root made himself as much a part of the county as though he had been born here and his life of usefulness to it began from the week he set foot upon its soil. As educator, as Christian gentleman and as model citizen he performed his part and well and effectively it was done, leaving the impress of his beautiful life and stainless character wherever he mingled in business or society.

Frank Root was born in Pekin, New York, May 4, 1826. His early life was rural in environment, for his father, Elias Root, was a farmer. The latter was born in Mansfield, Connecticut, June 8, 1781, and was there married to Anna Belding, who was born in Conway, Massachusetts, July 22, 1790. Of their seven children Frank was the only one who identified himself with the West.

In preparing himself for the duties of life Franklin Root attended the Lewiston, New York, Academy and the Lockport Union School. He engaged in teaching and continued the work several years, finally abandoning it when he was appointed to a position in the revenue service at Suspension Bridge, New York. He spent eight years in the customs service and was as efficient and popular as a customs collector as he was as a teacher of the American youth. In 1871 he came to Kansas and took the school at Geneva, Allen county. His success there, and his apparent personal fitness for the office, led the Republicans of the county to name him for county superintendent. He was first appointed to fill an unexpired term and was then elected to fill the remainder of that term and twice to fill full terms of two years each. It is doubtful if any public officer held the universal esteem of his constituents to a greater degree than did Mr. Root. To the teachers he was a fatherly adviser and a tower of strength and to the district board and patrons he was a wise counsellor and sincere friend, and all worked in practical harmony together.

Upon retiring from office Mr. Root was associated with H. L. Henderson in the hardware business, afterwards with W. A. Cowan in the grocery business. The last years of his life he was with A. W. Beck as his


book-keeper and so long as he possessed the strength he filled this position. He was a long sufferer from asthma and this finally terminated his life. He died at Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 29, 1886, and was buried at Iola.

April 18, 1867, Mr. Root was married to Lucinda Pletcher, a daughter of David and Elizabeth (Pletcher) Pletcher. They had no children, save those they adopted and elsewhere referred to herein.

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